As quilters become more experienced, they often want to work on more large-scale and complicated projects. Hand sewing these projects takes a lot of time and effort. Investing in a long-arm quilting machine is a way to get quicker and more professional results on quilting projects. These machines are ideal for working on large quilts, such as queen and king size bed spreads.
Best Long-Arm Quilting Machines
Here are our long arm quilting machine reviews.
The Brother PQ1500SL model comes packed with features that make it a great sewing machine for quilters. The free arm gives versatility for free sewing and makes basting and applique projects easy. The feed dog system is also adjustable to facilitate work on multiple layers when finishing quilts and for working on materials like velvet without leaving feed dog marks.
- Automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin system
- Retractable drop feed dog control
- Versatile free arm
The Juki TL-2010Q model is a great choice for both straight stitching and quilting, and also provides professional results for tailoring and home decor projects. It can be used as a table top sewing machine, or mounted in some cabinets and quilting frames. It is portable and also includes an optional work area extension.
- Automatic thread trimmer
- Larger work area than a conventional sewing machine
- Light weight and portable
The Juki TL-2000Qi model features a long arm and extendable work area, allowing for an extra large work area which facilitates bulky projects like quilts. This is a solidly built machine with an aluminum diecast frame for low vibration operation. It has up to 12mm of presser foot lift, allowing for work on multiple layers of fabric and heavy, bulky fabrics.
- Automatic needle threader
- LED lights
- One pedal operation
The Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q model is a computerized sewing machine with all the features necessary to facilitate working on large projects such as quilts. It includes a variety of different presser feet for different types of projects. It also comes programmed with 215 stitches, which make it a great option for appliqueing and finishing quilt tops with decorative stitches.
- Seven segment feed dog system
- Programmable needle up/down
- Automatic bobbin winding
The Juki HZL-NX7 model has all the features which make for a powerful quilting machine. A large work area is illuminated by two LED lights and the feed dogs can be retracted for free motion sewing, perfect for applique and decorative work on quilts. The presser foot also pivots easily to provide for smooth movement when sewing curved lines and around corners.
- Color touch panel
- Easy to use digital thread tension
- Large illuminated workspace
The Janome 8200QCP model is a versatile machine, which is well suited for quilting, but can also be used for professional results on a variety of other projects. It comes programmed with 170 built-in stitches, including a variety of one step buttonholes. The large work area to the right of the needle and extra high presser foot lift make this the perfect machine for bulky projects.
- 11 inches of arm space – perfect for large projects
- Adjustable knee lift
- Automatic thread tension system
The Grace Q-nique model is a serious investment for a serious quilter. It comes with a frame to set up your quilting projects and handles which easily control the movement of the machine. It is also easy to set up and use.
- Included quilting frame
- Handles control movement of the machine
- Includes a bobbin winder
The Tin Lizzie 18 model comes with a table which expands to up to 30 inches by 47 inches and 18 inch by 6 inch throat space, which makes it the perfect machine for large quilting projects. It has variable speed foot control for maximum control while quilting. These features allow the quilter to move even large quilts effortlessly.
- 18 inch by 6 inch throat space
- Automatic needle positioner
- Built in bobbin winder with large bobbin
The Juki TL2200-QVPS model is perfect for large quilting projects – it comes with a table that can extend up to 50 inches wide. It also features built-in basting and a laser point guide. It has handles which can be removed if desired.
- Comes with table and stand
- Adjustable 30 inch to 34 inch height
- Foot control
The Reliable MSK-8400BL model features and 18 inch long arm, along with a number of other features to make working on quilts easy. It has a walking foot to facilitate work on multiple quilt layers while maintaining even feed of the bottom and top layers. It also features a powerful motor for industrial-level sewing power, but still runs quietly.
- Stitch dial and reverse lever
- Stand and light included
- Built-in bobbin winder
Long Arm Quilting Machine Buyer’s Guide
When selecting a long arm sewing machine, budget must be considered. Long arm sewing machines are available for under $1000, but they will not be as versatile for quilting as more expensive machines. Some of the higher end machines include control handles for precise movement of the needle while free quilting. This is especially helpful for techniques such as applique and finishing quilts. However, presser feet which are easy to pivot can also give a similar level of control for a lower price. Machines with handles also often include control buttons on the handles to allow for even more flexibility when sewing.
The key feature to look for in a long arm quilting machine is the work space available. The purpose of a longer arm is to provide more throat space to prevent bunching of fabric while working on quilting projects. Many long arm machines also include an extension table or can easily be attached to one. These features allow for smooth feeding of quilts for the most accurate results.
Most long arm quilting machines come with frames already included. The quilter can often choose what size of frame would be appropriate for their project. Many models, especially those from Brother, Singer, Juki, and Janome, can also attach to a variety of frames for added versatility when making different sizes of quilts. Most long arm sewing machines can be used from a seated position, but some are easier to use while standing.
Another feature to consider when selecting a long arm sewing machine is the type of presser foot included. Some machines include more than one presser foot, which leads to more versatility. A walking presser foot can be a valuable feature because it allows the presser foot to work in coordination with the feed dog system to smoothly move even a thick quilt through the sewing machine without bunching or gathering.